About Learning by Design

Title V, Learning by Design Departmental Projects

Funded by a five-year (2008-2013) U.S. Department of Education Title V grant for Hispanic-Serving Institutions, the Learning by Design Program brings groups of departmental colleagues together to plan a focused approach to teaching with technology. Starting with academic goals in specific courses or programs, faculty participants explore tools and methods for bringing digital technologies to assignments, syllabi, and curricula. A three-semester cycle of planning, implementation, and assessment, which includes meetings with colleagues working on projects in different departments, allows Learning by Design teams to create and deliver strategies that reflect careful thought and discipline-appropriate methods. Simultaneously, departmental teams plan upgrades to classroom or laboratory infrastructure that will support technology-integrated instruction. Reassigned time is available for designated team leaders, and program participants receive a stipend.

Departments participating in this program begin by asking these key questions:

  • How can technology be used to improve teaching and learning to support our academic objectives, either in the classroom or online?
  • What computer-based or computer-related skills or knowledge does our department expect students to attain in courses and programs?

Having discussed preliminary responses to these questions, departments then engage in a series of preparatory steps:

  • Identify a course, sequence of courses, or program for technology integration;
  • Identify a faculty group of three to five individuals who will participate in the program, with one member of the group selected to serve as a group leader;
  • Propose an initial set of goals for integrating digital technology to further the academic objectives of the selected courses and/or programs.

These goals should aim to:

  • Develop skills and build capacity for online instruction (hybrid or asynchronous), and/or revise and enhance classroom-based instruction utilizing digital and online resources;
  • Revise pedagogical approaches to take advantage of the learning opportunities made available through digital technologies.

Departments that engage in this planning, and then create new digital instructional resources, are simultaneously able to plan targeted physical improvements to instructional areas.

The Learning by Design Program is supported by a Title V U.S. Department of Education grant. This program will extend through the 2012-2013 academic year. Contact Howard Wach or Bill Brennan for more information about this program.

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